Armed guards on Portuguese flag vessels


The Portuguese government proposal for legislative authorisation to regulate the use of armed guards on Portuguese flag ships, provided they navigate in areas at risk of maritime piracy, has been approved by the Council of Ministers. 

The proposal will now go before parliament, where it will have the support of the overwhelming majority of all political parties.

Under the proposal, flag vessels will be able to contract armed security services to national companies or those recognised by any other European Union member state.

The latest initiative underscores Portugal’s continuing determination and efforts to tailor its legislation to the needs of an international and competitive vessel register capable of attracting major European shipowners while at all times pursuing safe growth.

Last year alone saw the approval of a tonnage tax and the introduction of electronic certificates for crews. Electronic registration of ships will be introduced shortly.

In addition, amendments being prepared to reduce bureaucracy in mortgage registration procedures will create a legislative framework capable of attracting the largest international banks.

These initiatives highlight the firm steps and the progress Portugal is making on the international maritime stage. 

And, by working together, the European International Shipowners' Association of Portugal (EISAP) and national authorities continue to address the main concerns of shipowners represented by EISAP. 

Nowhere is this being demonstrated more clearly than in the legislative process which, in just a few months time, will regulate the use of armed guards onboard Portuguese flag vessels.